southwestern pasta

The cuisine of the Southwestern part of US is truly something special. It is a great fusion of all the recipes for meals that were eaten by Mexicans, Native Americans, cowboys, as well as the Spanish colonial settlers, for hundreds of years. It is quite similar to Mexican cuisine when it comes to spices, but involves a bit larger cuts of meat and uses a lesser amount of things such as brain and tripe.

NESCO, a company well-known for their quality dehydrators, brings us one of the best recipes from this cuisine – the Southwestern pasta. We hear more and more about this meal, as it became very popular among gourmets lately. Also this brand has some great dehydrator models that you definitely need to check.  so let’s check it out!


Nesco FD-61WHC
  • Tomatoes
  • Italian salami
  • Mild-green chili


1. Like most of dehydrator-specialized meals, this one is also very easy to make. Start by cutting the ingredients that we have mentioned above into chunks, trying to make them as small as possible. Pour this colorful mesh into a bowl of boiling water, and cook a stew in the usual way. Once it’s cooked and ready, try to get rid of the water in the stew and leave just the cooked ingredients.

2. Turn on the dehydrator and set it to the temperature of 150°F. Pour the mix from the previously cooked stew onto the plastic wraps that you placed on the trays, and then put the trays in the dehydrator. Leave them inside the unit for around five hours (even though this largely depends on the moisture of the mix), and don’t forget to turn and crumble the ingredients from time to time, to achieve the even dehydration.

3. Once the drying process is over, take the mix out of the dehydrator and let it cool for a while, after which you can place it inside one of those handy zip-lock bags. In this way, you’ll be able to make the Southwestern pasta whenever you want – and to do this; you just have to pour this mix into the water with half-cooked pasta, adding it just before the water boils. You can also add some dried herbs at this point if you want to.

Some ideas

To make this pasta look and taste as best as possible, you will need a proper dressing for it. There are loads of different dressings that you can apply here, and one of the best is surely the Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette, which tastes amazing. The only problem here is that the pasta salads (especially the Southwestern ones) suck up the flavors of their dressings, and this just might happen to you if you added too much chili.

If you create a dressing that is as spicy as the pasta that we just made, the combination of those two will bring a real party inside your mouth!

Another great idea is to sprinkle the pasta with cheese – whether it’s the cheddar or the grated pepper jack. Of course, the best taste here is achieved with one of those well-known Mexican cheeses – like queso fresco or cotija, for example. You shouldn’t have problems in finding any of them at your local grocery store.

The best dehydrator for this recipe

NESCO’s American Harvest FD-61WHC is the way to go when it comes to Southwestern pasta, as it is a simple kitchen appliance that works very well and is easy to use. Even though it fits into any kitchen, the American Harvest is still quite a powerful dehydrator, having a top-mounted fan that removes the need to rotate the trays – it dries all the slices evenly. These racks are robust and well-made, and the best thing about them is that they’re dishwasher-free, so we don’t have to tell you that washing them is a real breeze.

The other great things about American Harvest FD-61WHC are the 1-year warranty, the included recipe guide, as well as the special rack for the fruit dehydration and a jerky gun. As you might already know, the jerky gun can help you make jerky with beef, letting you create perfect pieces of it that will get dried in no time inside this dehydrator.

Nesco FD-61WHC